Reflecting On A Great Year

I became authentic at the arcade.

Until Street Fighter II came along, I was boy-average, copying other people’s hobbies, fashion sense and tastes.

I was also very easily bored and distracted, with little interest in school. Driven by a purely innocent desire for excitement, I found myself in trouble with the police on a couple of occasions. When my parents quizzed me why I’d done the things I’d done, I just shrugged my shoulders. I had no idea who I was.

It was only when the local arcade installed a Street Fighter II cabinet that I found some purpose. I was instantly hooked, spending all my free time and every last penny of pocket-money playing.

It was the Dragon Punch that did it. That combination of stick movements that seemed so counter intuitive, so unnatural, yet the most powerfully rewarding.

It was the cunning design of Street Fighter II that inspired me to work hard, to study and learn the value of effort.

When I swapped my Sega Mega Drive & Sonic The Hedgehog Christmas gift for a friend’s Super Nintendo & Street Fighter II Christmas gift, my practice time was no longer limited by my pocket money. I could fight throughout the night, and often did.

When the Street Fighter II guide book came out – around the same time that my first relationship had come to a bitter end – I devoured it, and pretty soon I could easily out-manoeuvre anyone at the local arcade, and I’d travel around hustling in other arcades too.

After beating a Level 8 Street Fighter II Championship Edition cabinet without losing a round, I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. I had played Street Fighter so much that I didn’t just know how it worked, I knew why it worked, and I knew that I wanted to make games.

Since then it’s been a struggle to get anywhere. I won’t dwell on why or how, but it’s taken almost twenty years to regain that feeling of accomplishment that I felt playing Street Fighter.



Velocity is the first project I’ve been genuinely proud of during the nine years I’ve been running FuturLab. The fact that Velocity was so well received makes it all the more satisfying, and the fact we were able to follow it up with Surge in just three months makes me absolutely convinced we can succeed in this market. My 15 yr old self is very excited.

Thanks to all our fans and a certain person at PlayStation who has recognised the passion behind our work; we are now able to build a great team of professionals for 2013 and beyond.

I can’t wait 🙂

P.S. It’s taken until tonight to realise how valuable that period of my life was. What valuable period of your life hasn’t been recognised yet? 😉

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  • Jon
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 2:27 am 0Likes

    Rooting for you!

  • Albert
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 2:38 am 0Likes

    Very honest and inspiring blog. One moment I always remember was handing out flyers outside a Reggae Sunsplash concert sometime in the 80s for a Desmond Dekker gig. Somehow my Dad had got involved with promoting him. Mr Dekker was a real cool dude, and from then on I realised I wanted to work with awesome people.

  • eeease
    Posted December 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm 0Likes

    Great post, great year. And I’ve enjoyed everything to come out of Futurlab! Coconut Dodge, Velocity, Fuel Tiracas, and Surge have all been FUN, a quality in games that is sometimes overlooked nowadays. I can’t wait for CD Vita! I’d say my first visit to PAX (Penny Arcade Expo, a big convention in the states) solidified my decision to work writing for Meeting the people behind all of the great “little” games and helping them get any press possible made me feel good about what I do. PSN and XBLA games have gotten much more press in the last year or so, but I’m glad I write for a site who always provided a podium for the smaller devs.

    Here’s to another year! I’m happy about your deal!

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